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If you’re looking to lose weight, you may be wondering how many calories you should be eating. The answer, of course, depends on a few factors, including your weight, activity level, and goals. But in general, a calorie deficit is key for weight loss.

So how many calories should you eat for weight loss? A good starting point is to reduce your daily intake by 500 calories. This should help you lose about 1 pound per week. But remember, every body

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Table of Contents

## Introduction

There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to determine how many calories you should eat for weight loss. Your age, height, weight, activity level, and gender all play a role in how many calories you need.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides some basic guidelines for calorie intake. They recommend that women consume between 1,600-2,400 calories per day, and men consume between 2,000-3,000 calories per day.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need to eat fewer calories than you burn. The number of calories you need to eat depends on your weight-loss goals and how active you are.

To lose one pound per week, you’ll need to cut 500 calories from your diet each day. If you want to lose two pounds per week, you’ll need to cut 1,000 calories per day. Cutting more than 1,000 calories per day is not recommended unless supervised by a healthcare provider.

If you’re not sure how many calories you should be eating for weight loss, talk to your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for help.

## How Many Calories Should You Eat to Lose Weight?

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be wondering how many calories you should eat. The answer isn’t simple because it depends on a few factors, such as your weight, activity level, and goals. However, there are general guidelines that can help you determine how many calories you should eat for weight loss.

### The Harris-Benedict Equation

The Harris-Benedict equation is a tool that can be used to estimate the number of calories a person needs to consume in order to maintain their current weight. The equation takes into account a person’s sex, height, weight, and age.

For men: BMR = 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age)

For women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age)

Once you have your BMR, you can calculate the number of calories you need to consume in order to lose or gain weight. To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than your body needs. To gain weight, you need to consume more calories than your body burns.

### The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than you burn each day. While there are many different formulas for calculating how many calories you should eat each day to lose weight, the Mifflin-St Jeor equation is one of the most accurate.

The Mifflin-St Jeor equation is:

For men: BMR = 10 × weight(kg) + 6.25 × height(cm) – 5 × age(y) + 5

For women: BMR = 10 × weight(kg) + 6.25 × height(cm) – 5 × age(y) – 161

Where BMR is your basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight), weight is your current weight in kilograms, height is your height in centimeters, and age is your age in years.

If you want to lose one pound per week, you need to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day by either eating fewer calories or burning more calories through physical activity or a combination of both.

### The Katch-McArdle Formula

The Katch-McArdle formula is a very accurate way of calculating your calorie needs for weight loss.

If you know your body fat percentage, the Katch-McArdle formula can help you determine how many calories you need to eat to lose weight. This formula takes into account your lean body mass (LBM), which is everything in your body that isn’t fat.

To use the Katch-McArdle formula, first, calculate your LBM. To do this, you’ll need to know your body fat percentage. Once you have your LBM, multiply it by your desired calorie deficit to find out how many calories you need to eat to lose weight.

For example, let’s say you have a body fat percentage of 30%. This means that 30% of your bodyweight is fat and 70% is LBM. If you want to create a 500 calorie per day deficit, you would need to eat 2,250 calories per day (70% x 3,500 calories).

## How Many Calories Should You Eat to Maintain Weight?

How many calories you should eat depends on a variety of factors, including your age, sex, activity level, and whether you’re trying to lose, gain, or maintain weight. The average woman needs about 2,000 calories per day to maintain her weight, while the average man needs about 2,500 calories per day. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need to eat fewer calories than you burn. To lose 1 pound per week, you’ll need to eat 500 fewer calories per day.

### The Harris-Benedict Equation

The Harris-Benedict equation is a calorie formula used to determine the basal metabolic rate (BMR) in adults. The estimate is based on sex, height, weight, and age. Once the BMR is determined, an activity factor is applied to estimate the total number of calories that a person needs in a day to maintain current weight.

The Harris-Benedict equation was one of the first to be used and is still considered one of the most accurate methods for estimating calorie needs. The original version was published in 1919, but was revised in 1990 (after being updated for inflation).

### The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation

The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation is the most accurate way to estimate your calorie needs, and it takes into account both your weight and your activity level. If you’re not sure how active you are, you can use the following “rule of thumb” Calories Needed chart.

To use the Mifflin-St Jeor Equation, you need to know your weight in kilograms and your activity level in terms of METs (metabolic equivalents). You can find your weight in kilograms by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2. You can find your activity level in terms of METs by using the following table:

Activity Level METs

Sedentary lifestyle 1.0

Lightly active 1.3

Moderately active 1.6

Very active 1.9

Extremely active 2.2

To calculate your calorie needs using the Mifflin-St Jeor Equation, multiply your weight in kilograms by your activity level in terms of METs, then multiply that number by 24 (which is how many hours are in a day). The resulting number is how many calories you need to maintain your weight.

For example, if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg) and have a moderately active lifestyle (1.6 x 68 = 109), you would need 2,616 calories per day to maintain your weight (109 x 24 = 2,616).

### The Katch-McArdle Formula

The Katch-McArdle formula is used to estimate calorie needs based on weight, lean body mass, and activity level. Unlike the Harris-Benedict equation, the Katch-McArdle formula takes into account the differing metabolisms of lean and obese individuals. The Katch-McArdle formula is considered to be more accurate than the Harris-Benedict equation for people who are not overweight.

To use the Katch-McArdle formula, you need to know your body fat percentage. You can estimate your body fat percentage using a skinfold caliper. Once you have your body fat percentage, plug it into the following equation:

For men: ~~~ calories per day = 370 + (21.6 x lean body mass in kg)

For women: ~~~ calories per day = 315 + (21.6 x lean body mass in kg)

Once you have your BMR, you need to factor in your activity level to find out how many calories you should eat per day. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise), multiply your BMR by 1.2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week), multiply your BMR by 1.375. If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week), multiply your BMR by 1.55. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week), multiply your BMR by 1.725. And if you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training), multiply your BMR by 1.9.’

## How Many Calories Should You Eat to Gain Weight?

It is a common question people ask: how many calories should you eat for weight loss? While there is no definitive answer, there are some general guidelines you can follow. If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. This means that you need to burn more calories than you consume.

### The Harris-Benedict Equation

The Harris-Benedict equation is a scientific way to estimate the number of calories you need to consume each day in order to maintain your current weight. The equation uses your height, weight, age, and activity level to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the number of calories you need to sustain your body’s basic functions.

The Harris-Benedict equation is:

For men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)

For women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

Once you have your BMR, you can estimate the number of calories you need to consume each day by multiplying your BMR by a factor that corresponds to your activity level. The activity levels and corresponding factors are as follows:

– Sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2

– Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): BMR x 1.375

– Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55

– Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): BMR x 1.725

– Extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): BMR x 1.9

### The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation

The Mifflin-St Jeor equation is the most accurate way to calculate BMR, and is the formula recommended by the American Dietetic Association. The Mifflin-St Jeor equation is:

10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5

For men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5

For women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) – 161

### The Katch-McArdle Formula

If you want to know how many calories you should eat per day to gain weight, there’s a simple formula you can use. It’s called the Katch-McArdle Formula, and it takes into account your lean body mass (LBM) and your resting metabolic rate (RMR).

The Katch-McArdle Formula looks like this:

Calories = LBM x RMR x Activity Level

To use the Katch-McArdle Formula, you need to know your LBM and RMR. Once you have those numbers, plug them into the formula and multiply by your activity level. The activity level is a number between 1.2 and 1.9, and it represents how active you are. The more active you are, the higher your activity level will be.

If you want to gain weight, you need to eat more calories than your body burns. The Katch-McArdle Formula can help you figure out how many calories you need to eat to make that happen.

## Conclusion

If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than your body needs. A safe and effective way to do this is to eat 500–750 calories less than your body needs each day. This will help you lose about 1–2 pounds (0.5–1 kg) per week.